Google I/O 2016 VR Session Live Video Failure

NEXT-DAY UPDATE: @GoogleVR informed me they recorded the session and there’s a video on YouTube!


VR & Cinema
May 19, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM / Stage 1 | Hercules

Filmmakers breaking into virtual reality face an entirely new set of challenges; creating for a new medium requires a new perspective. Join Google’s Principal Filmmaker for VR, Jessica Brillhart, as she explores the emerging landscape and language of cinematic VR – providing some of her own insights from being a creator in this field while highlighting experiences produced by the world’s most prolific VR content creators.

No live video for that.

Google thinks VR cinema doesn’t matter?

Then why the hell should people even bother with this:


If Google thinks “cinema” = Hollywood only, they need some education.

How do they think many directors started? With Super-8 movies! Spielberg, for one, did.

Most people aren’t going to do VR games. If that’s the market Google thinks is the largest, they’re kidding themselves.

More people go to the movies and watch TV (and online video, hello YouTube!) than play games.

And I’ve got more news for Google, the established players don’t seem to understand VR!

Here’s Spielberg himself, just today:

Steven Spielberg warns VR technology could be ‘dangerous’ for film-making

Speaking at the Cannes film festival, where a number of VR movies are screening alongside his own movie, The BFG, the three-time Oscar-winner suggested the new format risked undermining directors’ control of their art.

“I think we’re moving into a dangerous medium with virtual reality,” he said. “The only reason I say it is dangerous is because it gives the viewer a lot of latitude not to take direction from the storytellers but make their own choices of where to look.

“I just hope it doesn’t forget the story when it starts enveloping us in a world that we can see all around us and make our own choices to look at,” added Spielberg.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

As I’ve pointed out with the Gone VR, there are things that need to be worked out when conventional movies/TV try to embrace VR.

Directors will have a very hard time adapting. But writers? I don’t think so.

Writers have always been the first ones to create the imagery that goes into movies and TV. It’s there in the damn scripts.

Give writers a 360-degree all-direction canvas and let them decide. They’ll think about both the liberating and constraining aspects of it and create stories tailored for it.

It wasn’t directors who created the transition from silent to sound movies. It was writers. Directors whined about how the cameras could no longer move and having actors be near a microphone restricted them.

Writers will do the brainwork for the transition from flat screen to spherical screen too.

For Google I/O 2017, I expect live video from VR filmmaking sessions — and that’s deliberately plural. One session won’t be enough!


Voices of VR podcast: #339: Storytelling in VR: Ambiguity and Implication in 1st Person Narratives

Previously here:

Virtual Reality category

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